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Updated Dec. 2012

Case Studies

Meet Transcend – a small, DBE, woman-owned company that has been in business since 1991.

In an age where corporate translation companies dominate the market, we have found our niche by providing innovative, customized language products and brilliant service. We start by understanding our clients’ project needs and constraints, and quickly propose solutions.

Our current clients tell us we are fast, thorough, reliable, and provide excellent service and work products. We hope you will think so, too. Here are some examples of our work products.

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Problem

In 2010, the National Partnership for Women and Families asked Transcend to adapt their draft guide for young pregnant and parenting Californians to plain language. The guide covered complex topics, including safe sex, pregnancy, health care, minors’ rights, government aid programs and emergency housing. An intuitive, reader-friendly format would be the key to giving youths and their families the information and tools to make important decisions.

Solution

We created a 5th grade level plain language guide in English, then used focus groups of pregnant youth and fathers-to-be to test the guide and incorporate feedback that made the guide better. After the guide was completed, it was translated to Spanish. The next step was to create www.pregnantyouth.info, an accessible, teen-friendly website that includes a blog, county-specific resources, and “quick links” for emergencies. The website is offered in English and Spanish, and is available in mobile format.

The creation of the California Pregnant and Parenting Youth Guide and its accompanying website was a true collaborative effort. National Partnership was actively involved in the review process, and its representatives are proud to say that the guide was written with teen feedback. Transcend was able to exercise all of its skills in the project: plain language, graphic design, field testing, translation, web design and accessibility. Best of all, youths in California now have an objective, readable resource to help them in challenging situations.

Problem

Transcend partnered with the Health Consumer Alliance (HCA) to create consumer materials to explain new rights under the Affordable Care Act. With support from The California Endowment, we were asked to adapt HCA’s information vehicles so that consumers would find them interesting and informative.

Solution

We adapted materials that could be used and understood by the majority of Californians, using the following criteria:

  • Readability: We adapted a series of Fact Sheets and 1 wallet card written at 5th grade reading level.
  • Consumer feedback: We tested the content and design in a focus group comprised of low-income consumers from a variety of ethnic and regional backgrounds. The Fact Sheets and wallet card were then modified to reflect consumer preferences.
  • Disability access: The materials are fully accessible (§ 508/ADA) in print and web-display format; they are easy-to-read, the main points are clearly conveyed, the text can be accessed by disabled users’ screen reader apps, and all products work equally well for colorblind readers.
  • Translation: From there, we translated the materials to Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Farsi, Hmong, Korean, Lao, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese, and conducted community reviews for each language to ensure the materials were also culturally competent.
  • Usability: The files are used by HCA partners across the state of California. Transcend provided each Fact Sheet to HCA with a modifiable footer area where each local HCA partner can create final versions with customized contact information. These wheels did not need to be reinvented; they were ready to turn the key and go!

Problem

Homeland Security provided funding to UC Davis Medical Center to develop printed flyers that would educate the population about biological threats. The project goal was to inform as many people as possible about a variety of biological threats by developing materials that people would read and then know what to do in each scenario.

Solution

To maximize readability, we developed low-literacy text (4th grade) for each biological threat then tested it in sequential focus groups. In the intervals between each focus group, we worked with public health officials to modify the text and graphics to meet the reading needs and preferences of the target audience. The next phase involved translating this same information to 12 languages using community reviewers and culturally competence guidelines to make sure the translations were effective. Once completed, public health officers across the nation were made aware of these flyers, which are posted at Be Prepared California website.

Problem

Marin County Registrar of Voters wanted their voter website to be accessible and responsive to the most common needs of all of Marin County’s voters, including those with disabilities.

Solution

To create the accessible website that would also allow voters to find answers to their questions quickly, we designed an intuitive navigation system, used plain language that voters would understand, utilized good white space and chunking so the pages are visually appealing, and coded the pages so screen readers would logically follow the information on each page. Before its launch, we field tested the site with typical Marin’s voters, including users with disabilities.

Problem

After the death of a detainee, Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties quickly sought to develop a handbook for detainees in the federal detention system so they could be informed of their rights and complaint procedures.

Solution

Using existing texts as a starting point, we developed posters, handbooks, and online notices in low-literacy English that advised detainees about federal detention system procedures and detainee rights to file a complaint. These publications were later translated to various foreign languages.

Problem

VISs are 1 or 2-page information sheets written by CDC to inform the public of the benefits and risks of each vaccine. They are given to the patient (or parent) getting a vaccine. New VIS languages are added as significant numbers of immigrants and refugees enter the U.S. For this reason, VIS languages typically match the language list of USAID.

Solution

Along with certified translation, we provide community review by healthcare professionals who works with typical consumers in each language to ensure the translations are accurate and culturally competent, which was especially important during the H1N1 epidemic.

Our VIS translations are posted at Immunization Action Coalition's Vaccine Information Statements web page.

Problem

Life is not easy for foster children. They have lost their first home and dealing with new foster homes and the courts is not easy. NY Center for Court Innovation believed it to be in everyone’s best interest to inform foster children of their rights and prepare them for court. And the older foster kids were willing to share their ideas about what kinds of information would work best.

Solution

With the kids’ original artwork and their input on topics, we created a folder to inform the youth how to make the most of their foster care. Considered “legally sufficient” by the court and “really good” by the youth, this booklet and folder brought together the most important information in a way that genuinely impacted lives of some foster children.

Problem

Many courts had thought of translation as a way of communicating with their consumers. They assumed that their written information (in English or the foreign language) would convey the information the pro se litigants needed. But feedback from those consumers indicated that both the English and the translations were too difficult to read, understand, and use.

Solution

Translate legalese to Plain English and use readability principles to redesign printed formats. Plain legal language allowed the courts to have an English document that English-speakers could really use. And by using the plain English as a platform for translation, we were able to provide accessible, useful information in other languages, as well.

The feedback from the courts and data from a double-blind readability study were encouraging:

  • Court clerks reported fewer questions and fewer errors on the forms.
  • Pro se litigants reported greater confidence and self-reliance.
  • The plain language materials proved more economical to print and translate.
  • More respondents could understand and comply with plain language notices.
  • Court expenditures were reduced.

Problem

Transcend has partnered with Journeyworks Publishing for over a decade. We have translated and formatted their educational pamphlets. This year, they need to go a step farther by providing web-friendly, fully accessible PDF versions of their materials for veterans with disabilities.

Solution

Because pamphlets are not a good match for screen readers or web display, we redesigned the pamphlets for web-friendly display and full compliance (ADA, § 508, and beyond). This made JourneyWorks information work well for screen readers, colorblind users, and people with various kinds of disabilities.

Problem

In Missouri, the Prosecuting Attorney files a paternity case when children receive public assistance. The potential father and mother are served. Some of the time, the father participates in genetic testing. The cases are then set on a docket. In the past, no notice of the hearing date was sent to the parties. Mother and father had both been served, but neither had filed any responsive pleadings so they were technically in default and no notice was required. The summons said they had to file an answer or otherwise respond to the pleading. No one on a docket would ever show up. Really. Out of 1,000 cases, you might have one person show up.

Solution

We decided that this entry into the lives of parents could be used to help the families. We decided to send the parents a plain language notice telling them when their case would be heard and why they should go the hearing.

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